The future of golf: Nicklaus supports Golf 2.0

By Randall MellJanuary 26, 2012, 9:53 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jack Nicklaus is worried about eroding interest in golf.

That’s why he has come out in favor of installing golf holes with synthetic greens at neighborhood parks, much the way cities install swing sets at playgrounds. That’s why he hosted a 12-hole club tournament at his Muirfield Village course last year with 8-inch holes speeding up play. It’s why he is in favor of “outside the box” thinking to spark interest in the game.

That’s also why Nicklaus is throwing his support behind the PGA of America’s Golf 2.0 initiative. He appeared with Ken Griffey Jr. in the annual PGA Industry Roundtable Thursday at the PGA Merchandise Show to talk about ways the industry can grow the game.

“I’ve seen what’s happened over the last few years,” Nicklaus said. “We’ve lost 23 percent of the women in the game since 2006, and we’ve lost 36 percent of the kids in the game since 2006. That’s not a good stat.”

So Nicklaus is backing the Golf 2.0 initiative to attract new players, including women and children, and to re-engage players whose interest has lapsed.

“I've got 22 grand kids, and they all play a little bit, I mean a little bit, really a little bit,” Nicklaus said. “They play less than I do, and that's not very much. Other sports are grabbing their attention.

“We need to introduce our kids to the game of golf. We need to introduce it to them in a way that is friendly, and a way that they can have some early success and stay with the game. The same with women.”

In an effort to do that, the PGA announced the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America will become its official youth developmental partner. The PGA will team with the clubs to design programs to bring the game to youth. The PGA’s also looking at innovative programs, like youth team golf, where children wear jerseys and play scramble formats.

Griffey, a Boys’ and Girls’ Club board member, spoke about the magical connection golf can become for parents who play with their children. He believes the game helps forge special bonds.

The U.S. Golf Association is also behind the new Golf 2.0 initiatives.

“There's a reason it's Golf 2.0, not PGA 2.0,” PGA CEO Joe Steranka said. “This is very much an alliance of the industry.”

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Watch: Thomas nearly makes ace ... off rock wall

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:50 pm

You don’t become a major champ and reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year without catching a few lucky breaks along the way, but this shot from Justin Thomas on Sunday at the Honda Classic was just silly.

Playing the 182-yard, par-3 fifth hole with the tournament lead, Thomas’ tee shot found the rock wall guarding the green, and proceeded to bounce forward about 20 feet in the air before nearly go in the hole for an ace:

Thomas couldn’t take full advantage of fortuitous bounce, missing the 13-footer for birdie. But if he holds on to his lead down the stretch, JT will remember this nonchalant par for a very long time.

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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his first birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

At the par-4 eighth, Woods went with 3-wood off the tee and startled a duck that was walking down the middle of the fairway.

The duck walked away, and Tiger stuffed his approach inside 9 feet, setting up his third birdie of the day.

Woods dropped his first shot of the day at the par-4 ninth after hooking his tee shot and then short siding himself right of the green. He made the turn in 2-under 33.

Following four straight pars to start his second nine, Tiger took down the 465-yard, par-4 14th with a 2-iron, a 9-iron, and a putt to move back to 3 under.

Unfortunately, the Bear Trap would bite Tiger for the fourth day in a row. Woods rinsed his ball at 15 for a double bogey and three-putted at 16 to drop another shot and fall all the way back to even.

Closing pars at 17 and 18 left him even par for the round and the championship. The real story of his week: Woods played the Bear Trap 8 over and the rest of the golf course 8 under.

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."